How much does ‘Fix it when it’s broke’ truly cost you?
The bulb manufacturers usually guarantee their bulbs to run at 100% efficiency for up to 1,200 hours. At an average price of $550, most people go with the “Change them when needed program.” This works if you are not jeopardizing the integrity of the product you are producing and as long as you have a new spare bulb on the shelf to change out when needed during the middle of that customer OK or pressrun. A reflector cost of $500 each, with cassettes that hold up to 10 reflectors per unit, is another reason to take care of your investment.
The most frequent mistake made is not performing the simple task of cleaning the bulbs and reflectors of any dust or debris before striking the lamps. The trash then becomes etched into the quartz sleeve or reflectors, reducing the output of UV light, the performance and the life expectancy of the unit. And don’t forget the various filters and/or flushing the water system to avoid overheating and melt downs.
The correct approach is to schedule the maintenance as a job. This ensures that it will be done properly and during the manufacturer’s recommended intervals. Keeping repairs or replacement costs to a minimum and performance at its fullest should be your main objective. Take care of the tools used to make your living. And most of all, remember that a successful maintenance plan is a “Preventive Maintenance Program.”
Darren has worked in the printing industry for 30 years and spent more than 12 years at two of the nation's leading high-end commercial printers: Bradley Printing in Des Plaines, IL, and Williamson Printing Corp. in Dallas, TX. During that time, he operated conventional and UV 40˝ sheetfed presses and also successfully managed a $15-million pressroom equipment transition. Darren also was Lead Press Instructor for Heidelberg, where he directed specialty equipment startups and was involved in all aspects of the printing process by teaching both instructor and pressroom employees.
In addition, he served as a troubleshooter for various printing companies in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. As operations manager for a start-up specialty folding carton company, he played a key role in achieving more than $6 million in sales within two years. Currently Darren is president of D.G. Print Solutions, a consulting firm that supports printing companies of all sizes. He specializes in growth development planning, pressroom color management and pressroom training through specialty print applications.